Saturday, February 7, 2009

Mulligatawny Soup (WCJO - DS)

It's probably oversimplifying matters to suggest that any soup with curry as a predominant flavor could be called mulligatawny. The recipe in What's Cooking with Jamie Oliver is a beef curry-flavoured soup.

And let me say at the outset that this is why DS game users buy WCJO. Not because they want to learn how to cook; WCJO presumes that you already know enough to use a stove, fridge and sink properly. No, you buy WCJO because you're a fan of Jamie Oliver and want a pocket-sized version of one of his cookbooks. (Seriously, I don't think I've ever come across a cookbook of his that isn't smaller than a packaged ream of letter-sized paper.)

Well, let's get on with it then:

Ingredients: And already we see a big difference between WCJO and Personal Trainer: Cooking. Even allowing for the fact that this is a spicy soup, the variety and volume listed ensures that bland, this ain't. Half a dozen garlic cloves, ginger, chili peppers, curry powder and black pepper, in proportions certainly much bigger than what Tsuji Academy would suggest.

As for modifications, the only one I made is a personal one: I'm not a big fan of cilantro, and so I left it out of this one.

Technique: WCJO also enables the microphone function in the Nintendo DS, so you can scroll from screen to screen simply by saying "Next" or "Previous." It's not as sensitive to other sounds as PTC, but it will also scroll automatically, which could be a problem if you're in the middle of a particular cooking step.

Now since this is a soup, preparation isn't all that hard: get a big enough saucepan, put it on heat, put in the solid ingredients, cook, then put in the liquid ingredients and seasonings, cook some more. The one step that surprised me was the one to puree the soup with a stick blender (or a food processor), for a smoother soup. I personally like my soups to be a bit on the chunky side, but to each his own. I have a Braun stick blender, which still works well after ten years; it still does a pretty good job.

Results: The recipe says to use natural yogurt for a garnish. I definitely call this a necessary step, but that could be because I used a bigger chili pepper than was illustrated or available from Jamie's garden. In other words, this is definitely a good-eating winter soup.

Unlike PTC, WCJO doesn't keep track of how many times you made a particular dish. Which is okay, because remember, PTC is more geared towards teaching, while WCJO isn't.

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